George Michael: A Different StorySouthan Morris, 93 min, UK.
Singer and star George Michael gives a brutally honest guided tour of his life in Southan Morris’ documentary George Michael: A Different Story. From his humble beginnings in Hertfordshire, England to the zenith of his fame to the legal battles with his label to the infamous public toilet incident, George candidly speaks about every professional and personal gain—and loss. In this film, he reunites on camera with his Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley for their first on-camera interview in 20 years. The two discuss working together and the band’s farewell concert. Moving on, George goes solo and becomes a bona fide pop star releasing the hit albums Faith, Listen Without Prejudice, Older, and Patience. While retracing his catapult to stardom, George discusses not only the heights of his celebrity, but also how his ego affected him and the challenge of balancing his personal and professional life. The usually private man talks openly about his Brazilian boyfriend, Anselmo, their incredible relationship, and its tragic end when Anselmo died of AIDS. One of Michael’s most poignant confessions is that while Anselmo was dying he was performing at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert. Moments such as these define this film. Though George himself was closely involved with the making of the film, it is far from a glossy fluff piece. Much of the professional praise that he receives from those interviewed, including Elton John, Boy George, Mariah Carey, and Sting, are countered with critical observations about the man. More than a music documentary, George Michael: A Different Story is a riveting on screen confessional about a man living in the public eye while existing in a private world.